Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sudan and the Hunger

Almost a quarter of the population of Sudan are going hungry as conflict, rising food prices and the coronavirus take their toll. About 9.6 million people now face severe food shortages, the highest number recorded in the country’s recent history.

Many of those affected live in the conflict zones of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State, but almost all of Sudan’s 18 states have registered some level of hunger, including the capital, Khartoum. The UN has also warned that it is unable to reach some of the most vulnerable because of Covid-19 restrictions and instability. A source at the UN, who preferred to remain anonymous, said staff are finding it difficult to get visas or permission from the government to travel inside the country.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network said a large number of people would require emergency food assistance until at least September as “very high staple food prices and Covid-19 control measures significantly limit food access during the lean season”.
Woo Jung Kim, communications officer at the World Food Programme in Sudan, explained that “Currently, there is widespread food insecurity due to conflict, and economic decline and inflation are driving down the purchasing power of the population.”
Wisal Abu-Sham said she was struggling to get enough food to feed the 13 children who live with the family because of soaring food prices and lack of rain.
“We sometimes have two meals, but very often only one meal a day,” she said. “We prepared our land to plant sesame and sorghum but it hasn’t rained yet and we had to eat some of our seeds which were supposed to be planted.”

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